"I'm not a chef; I just cook." - Rachael Ray

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon is a classic French dish with a reputation for being difficult.  In fact, it was the debut dish of Julia Child's The French Chef.

If I had to describe the dish, I would say it is - Beef Stew, The French Way.

This Beef Bourguignon recipe is rather simple and this is what you'll need: A rump roast, a bottle of red wine, an onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, unsalted butter, flour, and quality beef stock.

First, you will need to cut the rump roast into manageable cubes, roughly an inch or two in size.  Now you need a somewhat fatty cut of meet so it doesn't dry out after 2-hours of cooking.  I recommend getting a whole roast and cutting it yourself.  After cutting the beef, pat it dry with a paper towel then season with kosher salt and pepper.
Next pour a tablespoon of cooking oil or bacon fat into a dutch oven heavy-bottom pot and heat on medium-high.  Place the cubed meat in the pot, but don't crowd the bottom or the pieces brown well.  Browning should only take 1-2 minutes on each side.  Removed the seared meat and place in a bowl.  
Now add one chopped white onion to the pot and lower the heat to low.  Let the onions cook for 5 minutes or until tender, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and chopped celery.  Let it cook for two more minutes then add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and stir frequently.  This will make the roux and will be the base of the dish. Cook this on low heat for another two minutes then return the beef to the dish along with any juices.  Then pour in half a bottle of red wine.  Stir and let it reduce for about 5 minutes or until it becomes very thick. When the broth becomes thick go ahead and add 2-3 cups of good beef stock.  I used Swanson beef stock and I'm very happy with the results.  Add the sliced carrots and mushrooms.  Last, tie a bundle of thyme and place it into the broth.
Turn the heat to simmer and you might even need to use a flame tamer.  Cover and let it cook for two hours, checking on it every 15 minutes or so.  If it reduces too much, add more beef stock to adjust.  Taste the broth and adjust salt to taste.

Instead of putting potatoes into the pot itself, I decided to make mashed potatoes and served the Beef Bourguignon on top of it.  Though this isn't traditional, it tastes wonderful.  The broth is a great gravy and goes very well with the mashed potatoes.  Garnish with thyme and enjoy. You've just made Beef Bourguignon!